Suspect Zero

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Suspect Zero
Review (4.5/10)
(By Sean Cullin)


Tom Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart) is a demoted FBI agent who's just been sent to the bottom of existence, othewise known as Albuquerque, New Mexico. After being a superstar in Dallas, he got in hot water for violating the civil rights of a serial killer (as if they should have any) -- he basically dragged the scumbag back from Mexico after a grade A ass whipping.

However, one day into in demotion, Mackelway hits on another big case... a strangled salesman in his car and another in a trunk, but both with a zero carved into them. After putting some pieces to the puzzle together, Mackelway realizes that the dead men are all serial killers hunted down by a mystery man known as O'Ryan (Ben Kingsley), who may or may not have been part of a now-defunct FBI program from as early as WWII that uses remote viewing to find killers. O'Ryan seems to think he's on the trail of the biggest killer of all, one who has no pattern despite hundreds of victims and thus has never turned up on any most-wanted list -- suspect zero. Mackelway must decide whether to help O'Ryan find this suspect zero or if O'Ryan himself is that killer.

I was worried about giving away too much of Suspect Zero in this review, until I realized that I said only as much as the trailers did. And that is the major fault with this movie -- it takes more than half the movie to set up the plot that I just went through, and the viewer already knows all this going in. There is no suspense. Sure, they try to spice it up with an angle involving Mackelway's former love (Carrie-Anne Moss) joining the investigation and another plotline where Mackelway has the same viewing powers as O'Ryan, but it doesn't help.

Suspect Zero isn't a total flop though. I did like the premise of the movie, which is what originally drew me to it despite the lack of publicity. The performances were good, although I am still not sure if Eckhart is leading-man material. Maybe he needs a few more supporting roles in strong films (a la Erin Brockovich) to build his resume. Moss' character is an afterthought here, she just seems to be thrown in for the sake of having a female character.

While I wouldn't call Suspect Zero a complete waste, I did expect a lot more. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had never seen a preview, and I could have kept guessing instead of already knowing the end result. You might be best to pass on this one until it's a rental and the plot of the movie fades from your memory.

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